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Six high schools plunge to bottom of state rankings

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

A month ago, we wrote about Bearden High School, where the faculty and staff were reeling from the news that Bearden’s Tennessee Value Added Assessment (TVAAS) ranking had plunged from a good-as-it-gets Level 5 all the way to Level 1, the lowest score possible. Schools that stay at Level 1 are labeled by the state as failing. Teachers that stay at Level 1 get fired.

Bearden’s fall was so steep and dramatic that five other KCS high schools – Central, Gibbs, Paul Kelley Volunteer Academy, L&N STEM Academy, and West – were also rated Level 1 for 2014-15 and went virtually unnoticed.

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Veteran teacher calls it quits, denied extra minute to tell school board why

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

Linda Holtzclaw was the last public forum speaker at the November school board meeting. When she stepped up to the podium, it was clear that she meant business:

“I come to you today as a classroom teacher with 32 years of experience teaching in Knox County Schools,” she said, explaining that South-Doyle Middle School, where she has taught for the past 20 years, has lost 60 teachers in the past two years, and that student behavior has become increasingly problematic.

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Diamond, Underwood get top honors

Sandra Clark

John Diamond was named Powell’s Man of the Year for 2015, while Teresa Underwood was named Woman of the Year at the annual banquet held Nov. 20 at Tennova’s North Knoxville Medical Center.

Bart and Cindy Elkins must be reeling. On the previous day, they were recognized by Knox Heritage as one of the Fabulous 15 for historic preservation for their efforts to restore and reuse the Harrell home on Emory Road at Spring Street – now The Front Porch restaurant.

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Expect Pavlis to be vice mayor

Victor Ashe
Government/Politics columnist

Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis says he would like to serve a third term as vice mayor when the position is voted on Dec. 19. Pavlis said council members were satisfied with his leadership as vice mayor.

He pointed out that he had to hire new council employees to replace Cindy Mitchell, Melissa Peters and Susan Wilson who all retired within two months of each other.

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It isn’t easy being a Commodore

Marvin West

The planned moment of silence for Vanderbilt football has been cancelled. Please return the wreath to Bob’s Flowers, suburban Maynardville.

The Commodores are alive. They are actually improved over last season. They will enter Neyland Stadium in the enviable position of playing with house money, little to lose and considerable to gain if they can trash the Tennessee season.

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